Networking: How to Make Yourself Memorable

Among the goals of every networking encounter is to leave a lasting positive impression. Not only a positive impression can help networkers to be more marketable, but it can also help establish and cultivate ongoing relationships with professionals in the field. For example, when you are remembered positively by someone, they will likely refer you as “contacts” and tell others about you, keep you updated on job leads, and provide you with valuable information about your field of interest.

The question is, how to make yourself memorable? 

The key to this is to grab the attention of your interlocutors as early as possible before their attention gets into something else. According to BBC Health, a person’s attention span varies depending on tasks, responsibilities, or time they have. Some might have a longer or shorter attention span. However, if you can tell a person the most important information that she/he MUST know about you in a few seconds (commonly 30-second), you’ll likely be remembered better. 

This interaction is known as 30-second pitch or the answer to the question “tell me about yourself”. A 30-second pitch is a brief introduction that tells a contact who you are and offers a few interesting and relevant details about your professional background and interest. It is more useful at public events, such as career expos and mixers, where networking encounters tend to be brief. An extended version of this conversation (your one-minute pitch) can also be used as an introduction in an interview. 

See also: Which One is More Important: Degree Certificate or Skill Certificate?

Your 30-second pitch should include the following elements: 

  • An introduction (give your name and current school/job as appropriate to the situation) 
  • Your relevant professional interests and the relevant aspects of your professional background 
  • The reason that are you interested in speaking with the contact
  • Your interest in having a follow-up conversation (inquire about the best way to get in touch with the contact in the future)

Here are other tips to get your 30-second pitch right and valuable:

  • Ask questions – Your pitch should feel like a natural, albeit succinct, conversation. Do not rattle off a list of your professional experience for 30 consecutive seconds. Instead, allow room for the contact to join the discussion. Feel free to ask a few strategic questions and listen carefully to their comments and respond accordingly. 
  • Be direct – Do not assume that your contact will make the right inferences about you. If you want them to know that you are passionate about healthcare reform, say, ‘‘I am passionate about health care reform.’’ 
  • Practice – While your pitch should never sound rehearsed or robotic, practising in front of a mirror and/or with another person will help you remember important information when you encounter an unexpected networking opportunity. 

Connection through networking is one of the best ways for you to get a job of your interest, thus remember to always use 30-second pitch tips. 

Read also: Informational Interview (Part 2): How to Interview Professionally?

Does Success Always Mean Money?

Popular saying says, “Money is the root of all evil – and yet, it can also become the source of man to be powerful.” 

Earlier in history, people had a barter system to trade. They would barter their possessions such as grain, gold, meat, etc in exchange to other goods with equal value. When  money was invented around 700 B.C., people began to use it for mutual adjustment rather than sharing possessions with each other. Money is then adopted as a better system for trading, thus humans developed a process to measure the worth of something with money. Until today, money is part of human’s means to survive in life.

The concept of more or less

Since money is one of the important measurements for a man to live, many people believe that having more money equals being more successful. When people have more money, they can buy more possessions  – such that they will be regarded as “rich”. On the other hand, having less money would be regarded as poor, therefore being poor means having an unsuccessful life. In nature, humans develop the concept of “more and less” because our brain likes to decide and judge things without working much effort. In other words, people would easily judge whether someone is successful or not by looking at how much “materials” (money) one possesses. 

See also: Which One is More Important: Degree Certificate or Skill Certificate? 

Money + success = ? 

After understanding the concept of more and less, you should now understand why money is such an important part of a man regarded as a success. Yet, to some extent, this is just the surface of the concept. There is a simple detail that people often miss here which can be broken down into two: 

  • You can still be successful and not have the money.
  • You can have the money and still be not successful.

How? You might ask. 

To illustrate, a man works tirelessly for a multi-national company and he earns enough money to be called as successful by society. Little did people know, this man is often exhausted, gets burnout, and is simply not that happy as he gets little time for himself. 

Meanwhile, there is another man working at a local school. He earns enough to feed his family, but he loves his job and loves teaching his students. Whenever he goes home and finds that his son comes running from the inside to hug him, he feels happy and complete.

From the illustrations above, now you understand the concept of happiness. Happiness is not measured by numbers, by money. Happiness is the basic need, core element that helps human beings feel fulfilled with life. When you feel satisfied and happy, you will perceive your life as a success. 

The conclusion by far is that money gives you power but it might not result in a happy life which is basic human’s needs. 

The psychology behind money and happiness 

According to Christopher Peterson at Psychology Today, money and happiness are related to each other. When you have a lot of money and you spend it in a way that keeps you fulfilled, having more money means having a happier life. Peterson also mentioned that money does bring happiness if it is spent wisely and on someone else. 

To illustrate what Peterson meant, imagine you have a bunch of dollars that could be spent on anything you want. Your life becomes much more comfortable and you can provide more for your family because you do not need to worry about your finances. This feeling, psychologists said, is a feeling of pleasures and comforts. Pleasures and comforts are two things that keep you happy, for a period of time. They are temporary things. The same goes to when you spend the money to help those in need. 

The conclusion is that money is not the root of evil and it does give happiness if spent wisely. However, as mentioned, money is only temporary happiness. If you want to be a successful person by your own definition, what you need to seek is true happiness. A life that makes you full and this kind of happiness cannot be measured by anything. That’s the beauty of it – happiness is the true wealth. 

 So, which one will you choose? Living to fit in society or trying to please your own self?

Read also: 10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters 

Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation 

Congratulations on your graduation! So you have finished college, earned a degree, and now it is time to practice what you have learnt at school in the world of working. Whether you are dabbling with ideas or searching furiously for that first big gig, there are small steps you can take to ensure your first job works in lock-step with your long-term career goals.

What is a job and what is a career? 

A job and a career are usually used in the same context but serve different functions. Both are focused on how an individual earns money, but there are some differences you might never realise. 

See also: How to Answer Behavioural Questions

A job – is short-term oriented and tends to focus on earning money. 

Jobs have a small impact on future resumes because they aren’t typically related to what an individual career is or will be. Jobs also offer less networking opportunities because coworkers often won’t be continuing on the same field in the future career. In addition, most jobs consist of hourly wages, are more short-term, and focus on getting a task done. 

A career – is a series of related employment in one field that provides experience for your future and helps you earn better paychecks and living status. 

Career is all about building up skills through various employment opportunities, strengthening ability to move on to higher paying or more prestigious jobs. Careers provide a foundation of experiences that help fuel professional life for many years. In addition, careers are more long-term focused on learning, gaining experiences, building connections, and putting yourself in the right position for promotions and raises.

Creating professional life with purpose 

As a graduate, you might now look for an opportunity that can both help you earn money and earn dignity through skill advancement. If this is exactly what you are pursuing, ensuring that your job and career goals are aligned is important. Here are three tricks you can use. 

  • Overcome pressure – At times, you might feel immense pressure. It is natural, but don’t let it stop you. Work hard, learn and develop a lasting relationship and soon enough the pressure will pass. 
  • Be proactive - Employees, especially millennials, often get bored easily but do nothing about it. If you are among these people, make sure to turn your boredom into opportunity by getting proactive. Get creative and seek solutions. Young professionals who solve problems move up faster. 
  • Set simple goals – Workplace can be wonderful, yet confusing at the same time due to tight deadlines, ungrateful bosses, etc. Shadow talented co-workers. Gain control by getting simple goals. Make a list of skills you want to learn and get senior professionals around you to weigh in. Keep a checklist and hold yourself accountable. 

Read also: What to Do When You Hear Nothing from a Job Application? 

How to Answer Behavioural Questions

Employers want to know that the candidates they hire will fit in both company culture and the position applied. In the job interview, hiring managers need to ensure that candidates have the qualities they are seeking for, therefore they often ask behavioural questions to uncover it.

Behavioural interview questions are questions that focus on how a job candidate has handled different work situations in the past to reveal their personality, abilities, and skills. Interviewees could use their work experience, volunteer positions, or sports experiences to answer behavioural questions. 

See also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview

Simplify with the S.T.A.R Approach

STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results. This interview technique offers a straightforward format which job seekers can use to answer behavioural interview questions. This technique requires interviewees to provide a real-life example of how they handle a certain kind of situation at work in the past. 

Behavioural questions usually are easy to recognise as they often have telltale openings like: 

  • Have you ever encountered a situation that makes you grumpy? How do you handle the situation? 
  • Describe your most daunting challenge and how you handle the situation?
  • Talk about a mistake you made. What happened and how did you handle it? 
  • Please describe a scenario in which you were under pressure. What was going on and how did you respond? 
  • Tell me about your proudest accomplishment. 

In some cases, recruiters can provide a situation in which interviewees have to answer with a real-life example based on their past experiences. 

Preparation checklist 

When answering a behavioural question, interviewees should be able to identify the most interesting event, hence could grab the attention of the interviewer. However, if interviewees do not have any work event related to the question, they can pick the most relevant ones from personal experiences. When doing so, make sure to tell a recruiter that the event happened not in the workplace but instead it is based on the personal experience. 

Here are tips to pick the best event and how you can relate it to the question: 

  • Categorise your experiences into successes, challenges, leadership moments, teamwork skills, and problem-solving situations. 
  • Practice your answer out loud before the interview session and plot the answer neatly. 
  • Get comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses because interviewers might ask more questions regarding your strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Always be honest. 

“It is all about lessons learned. Your answer to behavioural questions should demonstrate how you tackled and solved a problem. And of course, what you learned from this situation.” - Jodi Glickman 

Read also: 3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

Working Well at Home during COVID-19 Pandemic 

Working from home has become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. And this new normal is predicted to continue even after the pandemic ends, with 90 percent of employees wish to continue working from home in some capacity after the lockdown lifts. However, the survey found that despite the willingness to continue working from home, nearly half of the respondents report a fall in productivity while doing so. The reason for this lower productivity is equally split among practical aspects of remote work, such as family members, having to work longer hours, and inability to access resources that they would otherwise have in the office. 

As a matter of fact, albeit remote jobs give perks to employees to work anytime anywhere they wish, remote work might result negatively more to some employees. Not to mention, employees who are still new to remote working might find themselves experiencing a slightly different version of routine that might result in boredom, isolation, anxiety, thus affecting their productivity. 

See also: Difference between Remote Work and Telecommuting

For you who are still adapting to this telecommuting, it is good to breathe deeply and follow these tips so you can work happily and healthily at home. 

  1. Treat it like real office work 

As tempting as it might be to work all day in your pyjamas, it is not helpful in making you stay productive as this change behaviour might decrease your mood and ability to work. Sara Sutton, CEO and Founder of FlexJobs, found that some people find that dressing formally is helpful and provides them with a sense of motivation, while also proving useful if they need to dial into a sudden video call. Otherwise, you should treat your remote work as a real job, take a shower, get a comfortable dress, and sit on a working table and chair. 

  1. Have a comfortable place to work 

Remote working allows you to work from your bed or sofa. You can also choose a place around your house in which you are comfortable with. However, psychologists advised that you should find a space that is separate from where you relax. Try to create your own designated working area. Work in a separate room, if possible. You should also optimise your environment and keep your desk space and area as tidy as possible. Remember that your working position influences how you work and your body posture, helping you to avoid body pain and aches. 

  1. Have a work routine 

Routine offers comfort and can help reduce feelings of stress. Thus, adjust your routine before and during this pandemic. For example, if you routinely involve hitting the gym before work, try one of many online workouts to start your day. If you routinely prepare your kids before work, do prepare your kids for their day and remind them to only call you when an emergency occurs. You can create an emergency list for your children. 

In addition, try to maintain your normal working hours, starting and finishing at the same time and taking your regular lunch break. The more you stick to your routine, the better and easier you will pass your workday during the quarantine. 

  1. Communicate 

A little hello from someone can go a long way in this digital world. Greetings your coworkers via Face-Time, Skype, or video conferencing will give you a sense of belonging. Staying in touch is also important because it gives us strength, especially for those who are working or living alone. So, during the break, you should check up on your friends and see how they are doing. 

  1. Don’t forget to maintain your boredom 

Albeit all of those tips above are helpful to maintain your workday, you still cannot shoo away from the boredom of living away from friends or family. As a social creature, we need a physical connection to help us stay motivated during the day. Therefore, it is also vital for you to maintain your off-work activities. 

As an example, you can get outside on your lunch break and take a little walk, whether that is around the garden or around the block as long as it is in line with government’s advice. You can also try some activities or hobbies that will help you stay motivated and happy. 

Read also: 6 High Paying Jobs that Allow You to Work from Home

Improving Organisational Leadership Skills: Advice from Expert 

Leadership is an important function of management which helps maximise efficiency and achieve organisational goals. It is also one of the most sought after skills in recruitment besides flexibility and problem-solving, with companies spending nearly $167 billion on leadership development programs. Recruiters emphasise the importance of leadership skills in their job applicants. As a job seeker, if you want to showcase your credibility and stand out from the other candidates, you should boost your organisation leadership skills by mapping your skillsets against key personality traits and cognitive abilities that all effective leaders share. The traits include the following: 

Strong influencing behaviour 

Leadership is the ability to influence the behaviour of others, said Richard Petronio, Founder, President & CEO at Surcon International Inc. Leaders need to know how to influence and persuade their peers, both in pitching a new idea and trying to change a departments’ way of thinking. This will need good communication and other behavioural-based skills. That said, you are advised to train your way of communicating with others. Petronio said that effective leaders communicate with empathy. They strive to identify and understand their colleagues’ motivations and use that knowledge to make a change and build trust. 

See also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search? 

Emotional resilience 

In a world where quick changes are made, leaders need to bounce back from failures and disappointments and not labour on them, advised Petronio. That said, it is important for leaders to remain emotionally and mentally calm in order to tackle this fast-changing and competitive world. To have stronger emotional resilience, you should rebuild your self-efficiency, emphasise empathy, practice patience, create better self-capacity, and always perceive possibilities. 

Practicality 

While leaders need to have the emotional resilience to deal with problems, they must be able to separate fact from emotion when making a decision. Solutions based on practical evidence are valid information. To be a practical leader, you should focus on carrying out concrete actions that can help achieve organisational objectives with more or less immediate reinforcement. However, you need to also carefully assess where you are gathering evidence to avoid any inaccurate reporting or miscommunication that might lead to poor decision-making.  

Extroversion 

Petronio said that effective leaders need extroverted tendencies, meaning you cannot just stay holed up in your office or room, laser-focused solely on your work. You need to walk around, connect, and communicate with transparency, as well as collaborate with others. This, however, does not mean that introverted individuals cannot be a good leader. A study published at Semantic Scholar found that introverts and extroverts are equally effective as leaders in both academic and corporate environments. Yet, the characteristics of introverted leaders might depend on the context in which they lead, meaning introverted leaders should emphasise on learning and collaboration.

Self-control 

Effective leaders listen and focus not on what they should say, but on what it is being said. When spontaneous decisions are required, leaders need to fight their urge to react. Hence, managing your emotion is crucial here. 

Ability to solve problems 

In the 21st century, businesses compete with more companies and make faster, creative and meaningful decisions in order to not lose from business rivals. As a leader, you are responsible for winning this competition – because if you don’t make a change, your competitors will. Successful leaders are comfortable in assessing situations and thinking holistically about organisation, as well as the long-term impact of their decision-making. 

Competency-based traits 

Apart from solving problems and being a good listener, leaders are also expected to be an expert in their field, meaning leaders should have additional competency-based skills when managing teams. This skill varies depending on job title and position’s level in an organisation. As an example, if you are working in the business development sector, your competency-based skills should cover all that is needed to achieve good and successful results in your department. 

Read also: Key Skills Needed to Survive the 21st Century 

Why & Some Tips for Volunteering Abroad

Research found that volunteering can extend people’s lives because humans are hard-wired for the social connections they make when volunteering. Eye contact and smile during a volunteer job releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps handle stress better. Being a volunteer,  we can rediscover the joy of work while bringing out the positive energy within. 

Doing volunteer work right after graduation and/or during your job search can differentiate you from the large pool of candidates. Angela Copeland, the founder and head marketing at Copeland Marketing Services, said that volunteer experience can be beneficial in your resume or cover letter. They could play as additional information about your personal interest outside of work and allow potential employers to get a better sense of who you are as a person. 

Copeland advised that if you are in the early stage of your career, you can list leadership experience or other experiences that help you reach professionalism. Thus, it is always a good idea to join that volunteer program while you are still in university, after graduation, or during your job search. 

See also: Who Should be Your Professional Reference? 

Why volunteering abroad?

While there are so many volunteering opportunities around you, joining one abroad will give a huge plus to you, both personally and professionally. Not only can you connect with more diverse individuals, volunteering abroad can also broaden your view about the world.  

Volunteering abroad can also help you gain interesting experiences you could tell to a recruiter or the world. You can also become a big part of a community that actually helps better individuals’ life, make real differences, go see the world and gain new perspectives that might change your life. 

How to start? 

If you are ready to share your passion to the world by helping those in need, here are ways to start. 

  • Make sure you choose a volunteer abroad program of your interest 

There are a lot of volunteer programs, from environmental to human-focused programs. Make sure you involve yourself in the program that meets your passion and interest. By choosing the volunteer program you are passionate about, you are more likely to improve yourself personally and professionally. 

  • Register to volunteer abroad program 

Across the internet, there are many opportunities for individuals to volunteer abroad. Make sure you pick trustable organisations to help you access and gain visas for your arrival. You should also conduct research on the organisation or charity you are planning to join. Here are three trustable volunteer organisations you can try: UN Volunteer program, Volunteer World program, and UNICEF volunteer program

  • Familiarise yourself with the destination country 

Next step is to equip yourself with the needs and requirements to enter the destination country for a volunteer program you registered. Make sure to gain this information: entry requirements, local laws, and customs. Foreign Travel Advice can help you with the information you need. You can also connect with local people of your destination country and/or consult with the volunteer organisation you registered. 

Last but not least, go get the experience and have fun!

Read also: 3 Valuable Things TO DO When You are Unemployed That Can Make Your Life Better

Why and How to Make Industry Transition? 

Ameera loves reading and feels fortunate to have a job that actually engaged her interest. She works as a librarian in her town’s public library. She is passionate about doing her job as it allows her to do what she loves while contributing to the community by sharing and teaching people who visit the library.

However, over the last few years, the funding to the library has decreased, leading to its inability to afford new reading materials for readers. Ameera finds the job no longer makes her feel content because everything changes since the funding was cut. Then, she starts wondering if there is an opportunity to do similar works somewhere else, where resources are not so constrained. After thinking it over, Ameera decides to make an industry transition. 

What is and why industry transition? 

Industry transition, or industry switch, refers to going from your current industry to a new one. Industry transition is different from a career change that often requires you to gain new skills and adapt to a completely new environment. When you do an industry change, you will gain new skillsets and experience working in a new environment. 

Oftentimes, individuals will make industry transition to look for a new challenge that still requires their current skillset. Industry change can also be a perfect step to grow professionally as you are able to strengthen your current skills so you can hone your expertise. Industry change is also good to help keep your job satisfaction. 

See also: 10+ List of Jobs for Graduates with English Degree 

So are you interested in doing industry transition? If yes, you should know that the road to the transition is not easy. Albeit it is less dramatic than a career change, you still need a lot of to-dos. Here are NTUC tricks to help you achieve a successful industry transition. 

Trick 1 – Know your why(s) 

Look within yourself why you need to make an industry switch. Is it because your department has declined? Is it because you want to gain more experience by collaborating with a new team? Is it because your target industry has better career prospects? When you understand your why(s), you can better identify which industry is the best for you to grow professionally, and whether you really need the switch or not. Your reasons will also help you stay motivated throughout the change. 

Trick 2 – Research the target industry 

After that, learn about the industry you want to transition into. Does the industry have what you need and want? Does the industry suit your work style? Does the industry align with your long-term career goals? 

You can go to the industry website and search for skill framework. Or, you might ask the industry’s head to provide you with the framework. The skill framework can give you information on sectors, employment landscape, workforce profiles, career pathways, wage trends, desired skillset, and a list of training programmes. 

Trick 3 – Expand your network 

A transition is never easy, especially if this is your first industry transition. Thus, it is best for you to get a person who can guide you and know the in and out of an industry transition. Attending network events could help you meet industry insiders. When you have successfully built a relationship with the target industry insiders, it will be easier for you to find out what kind of projects they are working on, skills needed for the job, current challenges that are being faced in the industry, the lingo they use, and even hidden job opportunities. All of these can ensure your success when you decide to change between your current industry to another. 

Trick 4 – Maximise courses and support programmes available online or from current employer 

Generally, industry change will require you to gain up-to-date skills that align with the target industry. Thus, keep improving, upskilling, and attending classes or courses to gain your credibility. If possible, seek an opportunity which gives certification as it can play as a crucial proof for recruiters or hiring managers when you make the transition. 

Read also: 6 High Paying Jobs that Allow You to Work from Home

Why Pursuing Career as Digital Agency is GOOD for Fresh Grads

Are you fresh graduates thirsty for a job but cannot get the one you desire because you lack experience? Worry no more, you can kickstart your career as a digital agency. Digital marketing is the only field which values skill sets more than an educational degree in terms of employment. If you have skills, creativity, and passion, you are already qualified to join into the lucrative career as good as digital marketing.

But again, I am just a fresh grad, y’know? I might not even have any working experience. 

According to the Digital Marketing Institute, it is perfectly fine with having zero experience to start a digital marketing career. However, one must understand that the competitive edge provides no shortcut to any success. That said, you should put in hours of learning to craft, hone, and persist your skill until you land your first dream career. In addition, irrespective of your educational background, any fresh grads can start a career in digital marketing by joining a top digital marketing institute. 

Why should it be a digital marketing agency? 

According to DMI, the evolution of consumer needs has changed how marketing works. Working as a digital agency brings graphic design and copywriting together with new technology and modern marketing techniques that fulfils this new consumer needs. In addition, digital marketing has many niches to pursue as a single or whole career, such as SEO, SME, copywriting and editing, analytics, marketing strategy, etc. If you are gunning for management, however, you need to know quite a bit about them all. The digital agency world is also more flexible, versatile nature that makes it fascinating and exciting. 

The journey of fresh grads as a digital agency 

If you are pursuing this career, you will likely need to follow some steps. Digital agency job might not require experience and higher degree, however, an employer will usually provide on-the-job-training to get you the basic requirements. The training might not be as hard as other jobs that require fixed skills. Here are two highlights for fresh grads who pursue a digital marketing career.

1- Looking for the job and get accepted 

Although the first chapter emphasis that you do not need experience or a related field, it remains competitive for you to land a job as a digital agency. However, do not give up before you even start. Here are some quick tips to land a job in a digital marketing agency. 

  • Get free marketing education. Here is Hubspot recommendation
  • Rethink your email address. Make sure it is up-to-date. Here is a tip to update your email from Talentvis. 
  • Optimise your social media presence. Read here for more tips on optimising social media presence. 
  • Proactively apply for jobs, even when you are not 100 percent a perfect fit. 
  • Never stop networking. Read here for the networking tips for job seekers. 
  • Lastly, get to know the company that you’re interested to work at. 
2-  The training

Job hunting is only the start of your trip to becoming a fluent digital agency. Next is to undergo training where you will learn basic technical and mechanical theories as well as practice. In this training, be sure to pay attention to all details. Write down the lesson and ask good questions. This process will not get you to a one-night digital marketing professional, but sure is, it helps you grow as a professional in your early career. 

Apart from the training, you will probably be given some problems to help you reach your limits. So do not hide, conquer your limitation and get out of your comfort zone. As Ellen DeGeneres said, “When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be a time when you fail, and both are equally important.” After the training program ends, you will attain these abilities: awareness, consideration, decision-making, and advocacy.

So, interested to work in a digital agency?

Read here: If You Like Travelling, These Jobs ARE For You

Phrases to not say at work

Workplace should never tolerate racism, harassment, or any negative behaviour traits, be it in physical or oral form because the consequences will not only affect employees’ morale but also the company’s image. However, this principle might not be easier said than done when the very place you want to scream over tough project and difficult teammates is in the office. It is not easy to always control emotions in a work setting when we are too tired or too happy.

To prevent you from saying pointless and even harsh things, you need to avoid these unethical phrases when at work, during a meeting, or conversation with colleagues. 

“This is boring” 

It is exhausting to sit for a long hour during meetings, especially in a meeting that “seems” like a waste of time. When you’re stuck in such a situation, never complain or say things like “this is boring” – either loudly or quietly to colleagues. Don’t also murmur those words by yourself. If you do that, your boss might think that you are unable to stay committed and focus on certain things. 

Instead of saying phrases similar to “this is boring”, you can talk to your manager the next day or after the meeting about how you feel. Tell him that while the meeting is necessary, it took too long that it ended up interrupting everyone from working. If your boss is a good leader, he will listen to your feedback and do something about it. 

See also: Backstabber at Work: The Signs and What Should You Do About It

“I was doing this and that and … during my weekend” 

Sharing is caring but this does not apply when your boss or HR ask you the question “what did you do on the weekends or holidays?”. Revealing too much about what you did on your personal time could be a boomerang in the future. Even if you do productive things, revealing too much to your employers and coworkers might not be good for your work-life balance. Therefore, you can say one or two things about your personal matter but don’t go into details. To make it more polite, you need to thank your boss or HR for asking about your weekend. 

“It is not my fault” 

Having a job means you are ready for every responsibility that awaits you. Although certain task might not be under your liability, sometimes you are required to take responsibility for it. When your boss comes asking you about a project, never say “it is not my job to take”. Or, when your manager asks you to revise something that is not under your job desc, don’t say “it is not my fault so I won’t do it”. This indicates that you are blaming other people and are hostile or defensive. This can be bad for your personal image.

Instead of saying such things and making yourself look childish and irresponsible, you can tell your boss that you can help take a look at the project and revise it. Yet, when your plate is full already, you can ask your boss for an extended time to do the most important thing first. Alternatively, you can discuss the project with the person who did it but of course, acknowledge your manager first about it. 

“Thanks, hon”

This line is a little bit of a grey line. Calling someone with “baby or honey” will make it look offensive and even sexist. Especially in a workplace where people of diversity work together, these words might be interpreted differently. Remember, how you speak and communicate can change the workplace and work relationship flow. So, be careful with how you call your teammates and bosses. 

“Are you sure you can do this with your condition right now? 

When you ask the question to a coworker after medical treatment, it might sound caring. Yet, never throw the question to employees with disabilities or ill-body. This could mean you are underestimating them. Don’t say phrases that indicate racism or harassment such as “because you are black/Asian/white/having slanted eyes, you have no friends here”, or “You cannot do that with that body” as well. 

Read also: How to Tell: Are You in the Wrong Career, or Just Lazy?